HQ Trivia Shuts Down, Leaving Users with Final Drunken Broadcast and $5 Grand Prize

The mega-popular quiz app first launched in the summer of 2017

HQ Trivia
Photo: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty

HQ Trivia has officially come to an end.

The once-mega-popular quiz app, where players could win real cash during daily live shows, has shut down amid financial challenges, according to BBC News and CNN.

The company announced the news in a staff email obtained by CNN Business, stating on Friday that their “lead investors are no longer willing to fund the company,” so HQ Trivia was required to “cease operations and move to dissolution.”

CEO Rus Yusupov also explained in the letter that the decision to shut down came after they attempted to save HQ Trivia by hiring a banker “to help find additional investors and partners to support the expansion of the company.”

Though HQ Trivia “received an offer from an established business” and had plans to finalize their deal on Saturday, Yusupov said the plan fell through with investors, causing 25 full-time HQ Trivia employees to lose their jobs.

Matt Richards Anna Roisman
HQ Trivia

Following the announcement, HQ Trivia held its last-ever live game show on Friday, hosted by Matt Richards and Anna Roisman, BBC News reported.

To commemorate the occasion, Richards and Roisman reportedly enjoyed some alcohol — something they would often do during the trivia app’s HQ After Dark games — as they hosted the final broadcast and expressed their feelings about the closure.

“Why are we shutting down? I don’t know. Ask our investors,” Richards said, according to BBC News. “What am I going to do with my fish tank? I think our investors ran out of money.”

“Someone hire me! I’m talented,” added Roisman, per the outlet.

At the end of the game, those who correctly answered all 12 multiple choice questions were awarded a grand prize of $5 — which was reportedly funded by Richards and split among 523 winners, according to BBC News.

RELATED VIDEO: HQ Trivia Host Tells Winner She Won Rent for a Year

HQ Trivia was first launched in the summer of 2017 by Yusupov and Colin Kroll. Users who downloaded the free app on their smartphones and successfully made it through all 12 rounds could win anything from less than a dollar to thousands, depending on how many contestants were left standing.

In its prime, HQ Trivia gave away up to $300,000 for a single game’s final prize, according to BBC News. Over its nearly three-year run, the app awarded users with a total of $6 million in prizes, the outlet reported.

The entertainment industry also got involved with the app through the years, with several TV shows and celebrities hosting the mobile game show, including the cast of The Voice, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and Kevin Hart.

Despite its success, HQ Trivia was also affected by financial woes and tragedy.

In December 2018, Kroll was found dead inside his Manhattan apartment. It was later confirmed by PEOPLE that the app co-founder died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl, fluoroisobutyryl fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine.

In July 2019, HQ Trivia was hit by financial problems, leading to many employees being laid off by the company, while a number of others chose to leave on their own, CNN reported.

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